semper reformanda

Semper Reformanda:
Forever Reforming

At my church we recently had a series on the attributes of God. One of the topics was: God is Immutable.

Pronunciation: (")i(m)-'myü-t&-b&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin immutabilis, from in- + mutabilis mutable
: not capable of or susceptible to change

We illustrated the point that God never changes by showing in contrast how much we as human beings change.
Our bodies change as we grow. Our fashion sense changes as the years pass by. Our opinions change as we become educated.

We are "Always Reforming", always changing. In a very real sense without change there is death. Our human bodies are finite, and ever changing. Some changes are more visible than others. For example, my hairline is slowly receding, and gray hairs are starting to pop up on the sides of my head, while my belly is not quite as tight as it used to be.
Some changes are completely invisible to us. At the molecular level our bodies are in a constant state of change.
The only time that the process of change stops is at the time of death.

And that's only the physical change that our bodies experience. What about the way that we change our minds?
When I was 18, I was pretty sure that I knew it all. I had it all figured out.
Then I got to 21 and realized that I had been totally wrong about many things at 18.
When I turned 23 I got married and realized how truly juvenile I was back when I was 21.
Then when I turned 25 and had my first son I realized that I was just a kid when I got married.
Now I look back and wonder "who are you?!?!?"

Katie says, "You're not the man I married." And I say, "Yeah, no kidding, I've been like three different people since we got married!"

It's fascinating to me that we constantly go through change, we are always "in process". I'm thankful that God understands this and that God does not change. His grace is always available to us so that we can live the lives we should. His mercy is always there when we jack things up.
God is much bigger and more complex and more beautiful than we will ever be able to comprehend with our feeble human minds.

It's a challenge for us to realize that we are still in process. It's tough to admit that we don't have it all figured out just yet. It's important for us to realize that we are "semper reformada".

We see through a glass darkly.

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jimi said...

Along those lines, one of my favorite quotes ever goes some thing like - When i was 16, i couldn't believe how stupid my father was. By the time i was 21, i couldn't believe how much he'd learned. i don't know who actually said it, but i've most frequently heard it attributed to Samuel Clements.

Liz J said...

Jimmy, I think you posted that last picture to show off your tatoo. But yeah, I agree with you. It's amazing to know that GOD IS ALWAYS.

Crissi said...

At this particular service, Thomas had us discuss among ourselves how much we've changed in the last 5 years, and I remember thinking it would have been so much easier to talk about what's remained the same. I personally have gone through so many changes in the last 5 years, and I know that I'm not done going through becoming the person I'm supposed to be. But is there ever a reaching point? I'd hate to think so. Life is growing, evolving, CHANGING. Sometimes it's barely noticeable, sometimes (like for me right now) it's like the fastest roller coaster. And that's what can make life confusing, but that's also what makes life interesting. Even with all my "growing pains", I'm having the time of my life learning what God has in store for me.

jimmy said...

Liz... maybe just a little bit...

ben said...

I don't know if it's your hair in those pictures or your words but I thought of Bob Dylan and his song lyrics...

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth "Rip down all hate," I screamed.
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull. I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I'm younger than that now.

Lindsay and I talk sometimes about how much I've changed since we first met only 6 years ago and when I really think about it I'm surprised at the changes that I've embraced and now espouse as my own.
But of course, or rather fortunately; I have held on to the way I was brought up and that is still the stake that my vines grow on...and that's probably more important than how many changes I've adopted as I've gotten older.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you there, Liz. I thougt the same thing. By the way Jimmy, when are you going to take some pix of your tat and explain it to us all? It sounds like a great blogging opportunity. Or as Katies always says, "I'm SO gonna blog that".

Jeremy said...

I love the hair. I'm sure I've seen that pose before on the back of a 'Giant' CD.

Ditto on the tattoo/s ... blog it!

My wife and I have talked about our changes as well. We got married at 20/21 and reckon we've changed a lot, matured and grown up a lot in the last 11 years. I'm a completely different person in lots of ways to when I got married.

chris said...

semper reformanda...wow, I didn't know you spoke French! Sorry for the shameless Thomas Dolby reference.

Makes you think about us (semper reformanda) made in the image of an immutible (nunca reformanda) God...

Mad Cow said...

Okay, I know it was a more serious post. But, SWEET JESUS you were a nerd. I mean, I suspected a little nerdiness maybe, kind of like my own seriously awkward phase, and WHY ISN'T ANYBODY TALKING ABOUT THE EARNEST-LOOKING YOUNG NERD AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE?

Love ya Jimmy, maybe I'll post some of my own awkward photos, the ones where I'm wearing tortoise-shell glasses and braces with the rubber bands that alternate colors. And, bangs. BANGS. The thick kind, like a bowl cut but only in the front.

Make you feel better?

jimmy said...

I know, pretty bad huh?